The NATREG Project is addressing the challenge that the potentials of the protected areas as an important instrument of biodiversity conservation and a great potential for social and economic development are still largely unrecognized. Furthermore, the connection between nature conservation and development of protected areas is too weak. Therefore, the project’s main aim is to acknowledge and promote the potentials of natural assets and protected areas as drivers of sustainable regional development, and to increase the perception of preserved nature as a valuable asset. <br /><br />The Project is connecting six protected areas in the Adria-Alpe-Pannonia territory, namely in Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. The project’s main objective is to establish a transnational and multisectoral cooperation network and to develop the Joint Strategy for Integrated Management of Protected Areas. Numerous trainings and knowledge transfer events will be organized. Furthermore, by using the participatory approach, all relevant stakeholders from various sectors such as regional development, spatial planning, nature protection, civil society, etc. will be involved in the development of integrated management plans for protected areas, on the improvement of connectivity between Natura sites and the "Integrated Development Strategy for Green Networks of Protected Areas" in six pilot areas, and the development of new projects. In addition, the Strategy for Development of Ecological Corridors will be prepared before the conclusion of the Project, which is due on July 2001.